It is misunderstood that graphics used on the web are usable for print. This unfortunately is not a reality. Below will provide background information on color and resolution you understand requirements for both mediums.
Graphics For Web vs. Print Are Different Animals
Images that are on a website are made in the RGB (Red, Green, Blue) color format. RGB is the color scheme used by computer monitors, digital cameras and scanners. RGB can produce a greater range of colors than CMYK. Professional printers print in CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) color inks, which are combined (usually as dots) to create all of the colors being printed. If you are familiar with comic books then you have probably noticed those dots. The dots overprint each other in various ratios to accomplish the colors to be shown. (The exception is when “Spot Colors” are being used – which require specific inks for perfect color matching – but that is a discussion for a future blog.)
Color Differences With CMYK and RGB
If you send a printer an image that is in RGB color format the printer will have to convert it to CMYK before going to press. This is true whether it is to be printed digitally or offset (on a traditional printing press.) Sometimes this conversion looks fine, but sometimes there will be noticeable differences. The colors seen on a backlit computer have a vibrancy that is difficult with printing.Plus some colors on a computer will never come even close to the ones seen onscreen. For instance, the very bright green often seen online comes to mind. Onscreen you will see this color:
100% Green in as seen in the RGB spectrum
and yet, when it is converted directly to CMYK you get this color:
As you can see the color became less vibrant due to the limited color gamut.
There are colors that are more vulnerable to this color shift than others. If you are not familiar with the process you will be disappointed in your printed result.
The Dots Make The Difference
Images on the web are 72dpi (Dots Per Inch). Professional printing should be use a minimum of 300dpi. If a 72dpi image is converted to 300dpi it will result in one of two unfortunate results:
- It will be resized and reduced to roughly a quarter of its former size.
- It will keep its original sized but become pixelated.
Barron Marketing Communications has over 30 years of experience in preparing work for print, and nearly as long in preparing images for the internet. Please talk to us you if have a project you would like to discuss! 302-658-1627[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]